ATC090626: Joint report of the Portfolio Committees on Basic Education and Higher Education and Training on Budget Vote 13: Education, dated 26 June 2009
Joint report of the Portfolio Committees on Basic Education and Higher Education and Training on Budget Vote 13: Education, dated 26 June 2009.
The Portfolio Committees on Basic Education and Higher Education and Training, having jointly considered Budget Vote 13: Education, report that they have concluded their deliberations thereon.
The Committees further report as follows:
- The Committees note that the Department of Education is to be split into two new Departments i.e. (a) Basic Education and (b) Higher Education and Training. However, the Committees were advised that pending the division, the current budget would be processed as a single vote until the necessary legal changes are effected later in the year. Accordingly, the two Portfolio Committees used the opportunity to sit jointly to process the budget hearings at which both the Department of Education and certain statutory bodies appeared. The statutory bodies that formed part of the budget briefings included:
· Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (UMALUSI)
· National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)
· South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)
· Council on Higher Education (CHE)
- The budget briefings also served to acquaint the Portfolio Committees with the mandates and projects of each unit in the Department and the named statutory bodies.
- Although the Committees deliberated on Budget Vote 13: Education, the Parliamentary Programme allowed little time for meaningful engagement with the Department of Education and its statutory bodies – accordingly, the Committees resolved that they would engage further with the Department of Education and statutory bodies during the next quarter of 2009.
- During deliberations with the Department, the Committees raised, inter-alia, the following issues:
4.1 The issue of early childhood development (ECD) and resources for Grade R.
4.2 Whether budgetary commitments at the national level relating to the Education Vote materialised in the Provinces given the ability of the provincial treasuries to amend allocations.
4.3 Access to Higher Education for disadvantaged students.
4.4 How the quality of education in our schools compares internationally.
- Issues that required further follow-up and engagement with the Department of Education and statutory bodies included the following:
5.1 A report by the Department of Education on:
5.1.1 Requests to National Treasury for adjustment estimates ahead of
their adjustment appropriation vote.
5.1.2 The report commissioned in respect of “drop-outs rates”.
5.2 NSFAS to explore its visibility and communication strategies, especially in the rural communities.
5.3 All statutory bodies to supply a breakdown of their employment equity profiles.
The Committees recommend that Budget Vote 13: Education be passed.
Report to be considered.
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